Author Topic: Education and creativity - Is our system outdated?  (Read 2299 times)

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zekallinos

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Education and creativity - Is our system outdated?
« on: January 20, 2009, 10:16:02 PM »
I can't tell how the schools in your countries are, but here in Canada, I think there are changes to be made. Do you?

The current system is old. It is made for another area. It exists because of industrialism, because we needed to educate people out of farm land so they can do mass production. The thing is, we live in exponential times of progress. Every few years, the amount of information doubles. Every subject is subdivided into smaller and smaller aspects, since there is so much to learn. People all around the world are rising up. In the next decades, there will be more graduates then during the course of human history.

Right now, the way to go is innovation. Progress. Creativity. Yet how does the system work? By conformity. Mistakes are punished instead of being the useful occasion for feedback. Conformity is rewarded, as it is the safest way to get good grade. You don't try to make the best of of a project, you need to make it as the teacher asks. You are expected to do textbooks, homeworks, to study the vast array of formulas and history dates, without actually understanding them.

Since people all learn to solve a certain problem using a certain method, they are not able to solve any other problem, because they haven't learned how to do so. That wouldn't be a problem if they actually understood the subject. I don't know about you there, but here the problem is rather horrible. And people don't realize the problem, which is the lack of creativity in solving problems. They don't even learn to think by themselves, the people that get the best mark at my school are those who need to ask questions all the time, without trying to solve them themselves.

When you want to bring something new into class, something you learned outside school, the risk is not making a mistake. The risk is the other students. Either you risk the ridicule, or you terms sounds so scientific that they are all "where the fuck did he saw that? the nerd must have studied textbooks instead of playing video games". Oh please, anyone with the hint of a brain would know that all it takes is 5 seconds on google. But the system deems internet as an evil thing, and books being godly material. Result? Nobody is curious, so nobody half-sane would spend all their free time studying without enjoying themselves.

What are your thoughts on this? Is the system adapted for the XXI century?

(Wrote all of that on the spot, forgive me if it's unorganized thoughts...)

Reives

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Re: Education and creativity - Is our system outdated?
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2009, 11:35:36 PM »
I agree with some of those, but I'm not exactly sure about what you meant exactly with some of your points. E.g. the innovation and creativity - while they are highly beneficial traits indeed, what area/aspect do you have in mind for their application?

The internet source thing was a big problem back when I was in high school as well; but now days in university, I found many professors to be rather tolerant of them - a lot more than in high school, at least. But then again, I suppose profs aren't technically professional teachers so their methods are a lot less restricted.

I think asking questions is a good thing, though - given that it is not like "are oranges orange". Not only does it retrieve answers and information swiftly and efficiently, it also builds one's communication skills and confidence. I understand where the argument of "but then they don't think themselves" comes from - but isn't "googling" the same thing as asking questions? You are essentially querying for swift answers and information, and you are left to process them. Which reminds me of that other topic "does the internet make us dumb"; and I think it's probably a "no" from both of us.

zekallinos

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Re: Education and creativity - Is our system outdated?
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2009, 09:49:52 AM »
Currently, most projects we do here, in order to have a good grade you need to fit your idea into the specific things they ask (8 reference, 8 restrictions (like your product needs to be solid) and two tests for each, 4 different concept for the same idea, etc). But some of the products don't need all of those, it would be quite irrelevant.

What I'm getting to is, shouldn't we learn to get ideas, and create our own approach make them? Right now, they teach us different approaches, but never to learn to make approaches.

I'm sure you heard of Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. How about the same thing with education?

Are oranges orange? I've had questions like "Where the stars are in the atmosphere?". I don't want a class to be mute, but by getting used to think like 2 extra minutes before asking, the habit grows into you and you don't really need to ask things anymore. If you can't figure out the answer, then alright, ask, but there are many people who ask like 50 questions each class and it's quite obvious they don't try to think themselves. Since the teacher won't be there when you graduate, better get used to thinking on your own at a certain extend.

As for google, I usually expect people to use it as an information source. But not as an understanding source. I'm not against anyone who asks things you can't figure out on your own (like on what day is the national day of malasia or something).

soranokira

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Re: Education and creativity - Is our system outdated?
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2009, 10:39:47 AM »
Gotta agree, especially since I understand your point.
but I suppose, when they show us the method to solve the question, teachers do give us homework to apply the method in different ways, and see how questions can be phrased differently yet boil down to the same basic principle. indeed, google is an information source, but at the same time you need to learn to understand the information, or know what it is talking about.

but either way, I do agree that we are not taught to make approaches. but there are practicals where we have to state the approach that we use and carry out the experiment itself(sciences mostly).
I think the education nowadays try to teach a wide variety of things, but there are some critical parts that are actually missed out on.
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zekallinos

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Re: Education and creativity - Is our system outdated?
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2009, 12:06:02 PM »
Most often, they do not explain why would should use that approach. That approach was decided to be used because it was clear, professional, contained all information. If, for example, we need to date everything we do, maybe it is because some scientists ran into a problem in which they needed to know on what day they did what, but couldn't remember.

That isn't the kind of thing I'm supposed to try and figure out myself.

Valtier

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Re: Education and creativity - Is our system outdated?
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2009, 03:03:35 AM »
I have a similar problem with US schools for a totally different reason.  I'd greatly prefer a more traditional way of teaching to this, pardon me if this offends, ridiculous "hands-on learning" approach.  It's a half-arsed attempt to shuttle every child through their schooling without teaching them a damned thing.  My problem is that any student that makes even a halfway attempt to attend will pass regardless of whether they understood anything that they were "taught" or not.

[sarcasm]I know I'm probably the only high-school student who has ever thought this[/sarcasm], but this system is absolutely horrid.  Call me crazy, but I'd like to graduate this year walking away with relevant, useful information.  Not feeling as though I've just been kicked off of an assembly line into a hole that I didn't dig, but now need to climb out of.

zekallinos

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Re: Education and creativity - Is our system outdated?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2009, 07:37:42 PM »
It's not really about the grades you get, but how well you are prepared for the future. How well you will be able to be innovative and bring something to the society, instead of just doing the same thing everyday. Depending on the job of course, it is usually very useful to have done a few "hands-on" things before. A system made of that only would be ridiculous of course. But again, the problem is that they teach us ways to make projects, but never to make ways to make projects.

Dovydas

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Re: Education and creativity - Is our system outdated?
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2009, 03:23:01 AM »
Well, I don't live in Canada, but I somewhat agree with you.
Yet, it's not as bad as our system in Lithuania. It's like this: teachers take too much credit into wheteter the student studied for a test or not. Those who didn't are excused from getting a mark lower than 7/10.
And then there's a horrible new system that those who don't pass all of their university entrance exams in a higher mark than 8/10 don't get into the university at all.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2009, 03:25:58 AM by Dovydas »